Written by: James Ponds
For most companies, your marketing department is the window through which your customers meet your products and services. Setting a good impression means telling customers how your company is the best at filling their needs with solid information which can resonate and stick with them. The more you improve this department in terms of budgeting, productivity and results, the higher your profits are likely to be.
Build the Right Budget
Building a budget for each department is an important part of effectively managing cash flow and working capital but determining the financial needs of each one within the framework of the whole company’s budget can be tricky. Your best bet is to start by evaluating how the department is currently spending money, shifting funds to more effective tactics and reducing expenses. For instance, if you are targeting working professionals to buy your home office products, then your marketing budget should reflect ad buys on professional networking sites more than placements on social media platforms frequented by teens. You can calculate the ROI for various marketing expenses and shift funds from ineffective channels to those showing a better return and even adjust your strategy to better reflect what is working for you and for your competitors.
Invest in a Quality Website
While it is important for your customers to be able to view your website on both desktops and mobile devices, it is not necessary for your company to have both versions. If you invest in a responsive website, then it will fluidly adapt to how it is being viewed without your marketing department needing to update multiple versions every time there is a change. This can save both time and money which can be used for other parts of your strategy such as an active blog on your site, better quality graphics for advertisements, social media posts and ads, or even bigger pay-per-click campaigns.
Outsource When Needed
Outsourcing marketing tasks to professional firms can help ease your budget as well as increase the effectiveness of the department and your ad campaigns. You can keep your on-site space needs, and utility bills, lower as well as save yourself the time and expense of hiring and training new employees for important tasks when you outsource and it is gaining popularity in the business world, giving you more variety to choose from. Market research firms, graphic designers and public relations are some of the easiest tasks to outsource, giving you access to a greater talent pool with less overhead.
Gather Insight from Multiple Sources
When developing strategies, budgets and performance reviews of your marketing department, it is important to gather insight from key personnel such as executives and sales leaders, but you should also ask sales associates, customer service representatives and your clients how they think your company and marketing strategy are doing. This gives you a wider range of opinions on the effects of past strategy as well as information on needed improvements from a variety of viewpoints. You can also hire a consultant for an uninvested outside view if the department seems stagnated or if you cannot pinpoint bottlenecks in efficiency and productivity.
Create a Solid Strategy
Once you have the information and resources needed for your marketing department to thrive, it is time to build on the strengths and improve the weaknesses of past strategies to create a new and adaptive one moving forward. This strategy should reflect which budget items have the best ROI, where your target audience spends their time and what your market research reports about the needs of customers.
Your marketing department will only improve if you can find a way to drive needed changes within your company to best fill your market niche. These changes can take place in the budget allotment for tools and talent, in the design and content of your website or in the places you look for insight and inspiration, but they should all lead to improved strategies for future marketing campaigns and department management.